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Ruling says Marikana miners not entitled to info – lawyer

An application for President Jacob Zuma to immediately release the Farlam Commission’s report on the Marikana killings was dismissed because the applicants were not yet entitled to that information, a lawyer said on Monday.

“He [Judge Neil Tuchten] says that it is information that we are not entitled to. It was more like information given to him by [retired judge and commission chair Ian] Farlam,” Simon Hlahla, for the miners involved in the incident and Amcu said.

“There was an undertaking by Zuma to release the report [by June 30].”

He said Zuma had to provide notice to the lawyers and the families before he released the report.

He said that while Tuchten’s judgment had made the miners unhappy, in the absence of an order in their favour, they would have wait for June 30.

Hlahla said that if Zuma did not follow through with that deadline, they would return to court, and possibly approach the Constitutional Court.

Going to ICC over killings
Earlier, in a packed High Court in Pretoria courtroom, Tuchten dismissed the application.

In his written judgment, Tuchten said: “There is no provision in the Constitution which imposes an obligation specifically on the president to provide information.”

After the ruling, about 200 Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union members and families of the miners affected by the incident gathered at the steps of the palace of justice to hear Hlahla explain the reasons.

He said it was likely that the International Criminal Court would be approached on Marikana killings.

Earlier this month, the court heard submissions by advocate Dali Mpofu on behalf of applicants Mzoxolo Magidwana, who was shot, and mining union Amcu.

Zuma’s counsel, advocate Hilton Epstein, submitted the president needed until June 30 to ”get to grips” with the report because it was serious, and he would have to answer questions about it.

But Mpofu said if retired judge Ian Farlam could keep to his November 2014 undertaking to give the president the report on March 31 this year, there was no explanation as to why the president was not releasing the report.

On August 12, 2012, 34 miners were killed. An inquiry set up by Zuma and chaired by Farlam also investigated the deaths of 10 people, including two security guards and two police officers, in the preceding week.

The report is said to name prominent government leaders, including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega. – News24

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